minstrel: Re:Filks, copywrite, etc.

B.Zantingh(aka Bernadette) bzantingh at bulkley.net
Sun Mar 12 20:40:27 PST 2000


On Sunday, March 12, 2000 3:01 PM Melusine d'Argent writes:

> There was a recent uproar about a girl scout group singin "Happy
> Birthday" at one of their functions (yep, that's under copywrite) so, no,
> it doesn't matter who's doing the performance, under what circumstances.
> The only reason most performers don't have to go to the trouble of
> obtaining permission to perform copywritten material is that the venues
> in which they perform have to do that.  The way I understand it, they pay
> a yearly fee to one of the "clearing" organizations.  Therefor, the SCA
> would be exactly who an irate copywrite holder would target, just like
> the Girl Scouts were in the aforementioned example.
>
> Melusine d'Argent
> (who is a singer-songwriter in the modern world and has spent much time
> researching this issue)
>

I, too, am a singer-songwriter in the "modern" world, and I do agree with
Melusine insofar as the venue has the primary reporting responsibility.  I
also serve on the coffeehouse committee of our local Folk Music Society.  My
performing partner (another singer/songwriter) is registered with SOCAN, the
Canadian equivalent to ASCAP.  After one of our performances of original
pieces, he sent his required list off to SOCAN.  In that way, he is assured
of receiving his performance royalties.  The response that we, as a
committee, received from SOCAN was "WHAT?!?  You're supposed to let us know
that you are putting on these coffeehouses"  All we could say was "Oops.
Sorry, we won't let it happen again".  We also produce a Midsummer Folk
Festival each June and assumed that the fee we pay for the festival covered
all the Society's activities.  Apparently, it doesn't.

As an aside, am I the only one who has not heard of the Girl Guides and
"Birthdaygate"?


Bernadette Mareschal de Valleé
Herald, Chief Bard, Sole Spinner and Person Least Likely to Just Say No (to
one more activity)
Incipient Shire of Tir Bannog
Northern Region, Kingdom of An Tir


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